100614_ssr_whiton_640Islamic State fighters have reportedly moved closer to capturing the Syrian town of Kobani, near the Turkish border, in what would be the most serious setback for Kurdish forces since a campaign of U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria began last month. The capture of Kobani would give ISIS control of a large swath of land bordering Turkey and eliminate a vital pocket of Kurdish resistance. It would also provide a link between the group’s territory near the ancient Syrian city of Aleppo and its largest operations base at Raqqa in northeastern Syria. The Associated Press reported that warplanes believed to be part of the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State, commonly known as ISIS, struck militant positions Tuesday. Journalists on the Turkish side of the border heard the sound of warplanes before two large plumes of smoke billowed just west of Kobani. A Fox News crew on the Turkish side of the border reported only one U.S. airstrike in the previous five days. Fighting continued into Tuesday morning on the outskirts of the town. One coordinator with the Kurdish defenders told The New York Times that their defenses benefited from the new round of airstrikes, but they were still outmatched by the more heavily armed militants. More